1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster
London, UK. November 1, 2007 –More than 85 outstanding cars were offered for sale last night in Battersea Park in a
headline-grabbing extravaganza visited by many of the world’s most important car collectors and celebrities – a fitting start for RM Auctions’ first sale in the British capital. RM Auctions European Managing Director, Max Girardo said: “After our highly successful Ferrari sale in Maranello in May of this year, we are now in London where some of the most expensive cars in the world are bought and sold
and where collectors and enthusiasts define the pulse of the European classic car world.”
RM Auctions kicked off their first London sale with a “Roaring Twenties” preview party attended by more than 1,000 VIP guests, a large number of whom turned out in top-hats and tails, whilst the ladies sported beads, flapper dresses and feathers befitting of the elegant, glamorous and
The star of the auction was undoubtedly the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster from the Bernie Ecclestone collection, which was raised 15 feet in the air to dramatic music, and finally coming to rest above the auctioneer. Following a fierce round of bidding in a room
stunned into absolute silence, the bidding stopped at a staggering $8.25 million.
An astounding and unprecedented 800 bidders from all over the world filled the Battersea Evolution center for RM’s first London auction. Next to the 540K Special Roadster, the Mercedes-Benz SSK comfortably
broke the magic million achieving $2.5 million when auctioneer Peter Bainbridge called the magic words “for the first time, for the second time, sold!”
Three more ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz models completed the round-up of fabulous Stuttgart cars. Although any *Mercedes-Benz SSKL* is considered a replica as none of the original five examples have survived, the SSKL
on offer at Battersea Park had been created using only original S Type parts. This very special car, commissioned in the late 1950s by then General Motors Design chief Bill Mitchell, attracted a final bid of $2,207,500.
From the Abba Kogan collection, the 1931 REO Racing Car, raced extensively in Argentina in the 1930s by local hero Ernesto Blanco, fueled a frenzy of telephone bidding from Argentina which only ended when the original estimate was doubled to $929,473. George Harrison’s star attraction, the silver 1964 Aston Martin DB5 sold for an excellent $464,736. The ultra low 1966 Ford GT40, achieved a high bid of $2,044,842 while the fabulous BMW 507 Roadster, one of less than 260 ever produced, brought an impressive $894,618.
But not all cars on offer the crisp London evening required a large bank account. The first entry of the day, a 1964 Ford Anglia Deluxe Saloon, was bought for $11,618. Acquired in the 1990s by Formula 1 impresario Bernie Ecclestone, this car may well be – next to Harry Potter’s similar transport in ”The Chamber of Secrets” – the second most famous Ford Anglia in existence, and with provenance from its famous recent owner, might even become more valuable over time.
By the close of the evening, RM Auctions’ co-founder Rob Myers said: “We are thrilled with this most satisfying start of our new European business here in London. We enjoyed an incredible reception from both friends and new clients.” Bernie Ecclestone, owner of the biggest collection sold, added: “I started my car collection a long time ago, so
passing it on now was an important decision for me to take. I entrusted RM Auctions with this job, and they delivered an impressive service and record-breaking results.”
RM Auctions is now already looking ahead to its next European auction, returning to the home of Ferrari in Maranello, Italy on May 18, 2008. Guests and bidders in London were allowed a glimpse of what RM is offering next year. The star of the forthcoming May sale is a rare and
ultra-desirable Ferrari 250GT California Spyder, one of the most valuable of all road-going Ferraris. One of less than 100 California Spyders produced between 1957 and 1962 in a variety of specifications, this LWB covered headlamp version is estimated at $4,300,000 – $5,700,000.